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Democratic Presidential Candidates Speak at Event Hosted by Black Church PAC; Analyst Examines Support for President Trump and Democratic Presidential Candidates in African-American Community; North Korea Continues Missile Testing; Donald Trump Backs Off Gun Control Legislation Involving Background Checks; Representative Ted Yoho (R-FL) Interviewed about North Korean Missile Tests, Chinese Tariffs, and Gun Control Legislation; Analyst Examines Short Term Fluctuations on Stock and Effect on Retirement Savings; Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Family Survive Plane Crash. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired August 17, 2019 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:10] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, I'm Victor Blackwell.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christi Paul. So grateful to have your company here as we begin with faith and politics. The Black Church PAC hosting five 2020 presidential candidates in Atlanta this weekend.
BLACKWELL: Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Cory Booker, Julian Castro, former HUD secretary, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg all joining some of the biggest names in Christian ministry to pitch black voters on their vision for the future of the country.
PAUL: CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich following the latest from Atlanta. So Vanessa, so far is there a theme this year, a takeaway?
VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS REPORTER: Hi, good morning, Christi and Victor. In just a short while Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are going to be taking the stage right here behind me, making their pitch to church leaders and millennial black voters. Just yesterday we had Julian Castro, Cory Booker, and Pete Buttigieg here.
Of all of those candidates, Pete Buttigieg has the toughest inroads to make with black voters, consistently polling at about zero percent. And I asked him if one of the reasons he thought he might not be able to connect with this community is because maybe some of the more conservative black voters wouldn't be able to accept his sexuality because of their moral and religious beliefs. He kind of skirted the question when I asked him that, saying that people really just care about what platforms he's proposing. But I did ask a millennial voter here that same question. Take a listen to what she had to say about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) FRANCISCA SHAW, GEORGIA VOTER: I do think the older black voter, like my dad, 70 age, will have an issue, and my father and I have discussed it because I'm like, dad, what would you like to have, Donald Trump or a guy who likes a man? Why do you even care about that? But I do think my generation, even maybe a little older, the 40s are kind of out of that now. We don't care about what you're doing at home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YURKEVICH: And you hear from that voter there that it's maybe the older generation that might have a little tougher of a time accepting Pete Buttigieg's sexuality. But the younger millennial generation very much open to it.
Now, this crowd here today will be black millennial voters, and the issues that they want to hear from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are gun control, the mass shootings just happened in Dayton and El Paso. They also want to hear them talk about education and also student debt. Many voters here we spoke to say they have heavy student debt bills that they are still paying off. So as these two candidates take the stage, voters here want to hear from them on the issues that matter to them, and those three issues are really at top of mind for voters here today. Christi and Victor?
BLACKWELL: We'll look forward to their remarks. Vanessa Yurkevich, thank you so much.
PAUL: So we spoke to Reverend Leah Daughtry, the cofounder of the Black Church PAC and former CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee, talked to her earlier this morning.
BLACKWELL: So listen to what she has to say about the new generation of African-American voters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. LEAH DAUGHTRY, CO-FOUNDER, THE BLACK CHURCH PAC: We know that the African-American community is not monolithic. We have all stripes, all kinds. And so these are young voters who are some of them voting for the first time who are very engaged, some of them who voted for the first time in 2018 to help flip the House.
And so they are interested in pocketbook issues. Many of them are dealing with student debt. And they're starting their careers or a midpoint in their career and want to know about gentrification and housing, and the pocketbook issues that will help them to live. Some of them are entrepreneurs. They want to know about access to capital. So these are the things that they are concerned about. And of course, as African-Americans there are the issues that affect us disproportionately, such as gun control, over policing, intimate partner violence, and things like that, so they want to talk about those as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: And we must bring in CNN senior political writer and analyst Mr. Harry Enten.
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER AND ANALYST: Hey, it's been a long time. How are you guys doing?
BLACKWELL: Good morning, Harry.
PAUL: Good morning, Harry.
ENTEN: Good morning. Good morning.
PAUL: So talk to us about some of the numbers that you have come up with here that you've uncovered, the president's approval rating among black voters, what did you find out?
ENTEN: Right. So what I essentially did was I aggregated our last three CNN polls so we could get a breakdown as black voters just not as a group but also by age. So I broke it down between 18 and 49- year-olds and those 50 and older. What we essentially see among black voters is that Donald Trump is not very popular, no matter what age you're looking at, but especially among those younger black voters, age 18 to 49. Just a five percent approve rating, 94 percent disapprove of him.
And this is really not surprising obviously because black voters tend to be very Democratic, but even these numbers are low for a Republican president.
Let's put aside the president for a second and concentrate on the Democratic primary race. So what I did was I looked at potential Democratic primary voters, and I said let's break it down by age and let's see how many of those potential Democratic primary voters consider themselves Democrats and what percentage consider themselves independents.
[10:05:11] And this is really interesting to me, because what we see here is that among that younger age group, that 18 to 49-year-old age group, what we see is a much lower percentage of those potential Democratic primary voters consider themselves Democrats. Just 68 percent do versus 32 percent who consider themselves independent. Among those age 50 and older, 85 percent of those consider themselves Democrats, so there's nearly a 20-point age gap on that.
So we can transfer that over to the Democratic primary race right now overall, and I think that number gives you an inclination of why. So I broke down the current Democratic primary race among those African- Americans 18 to 49 and those 50 and older. And what do we see? We see that although Joe Biden leads among both groups, his lead among African-American voters age 50 and older is significantly larger than it is among those 18 to 49, while Bernie Sanders sees also a pretty large generational gap. We see him doing considerably better among those 18 to 49-year-olds doubling his support from six percent among those age 50 and older. And that to me isn't so surprising because if you recall, that last slide I pointed out was that younger African- American Democratic potential primary voters, more of them consider themselves independent, and Bernie Sanders does better among that group, and that was exactly what we saw if you go back to 2016 where we saw that Bernie Sanders did considerably better among the youngest African-Americans in the electorate. He actually won African- Americans age 17 to 29 while losing those age 60 and older by 80 percentage points.
So Bernie Sanders is someone who does considerably better with younger African-American voters, while Joe Biden is someone who does considerably better with older African-American voters.
BLACKWELL: So let me ask you specifically about former vice president Joe Biden who has led consistently in the polls of primary preference among African-Americans. When they say they prefer Joe Biden, do they say why?
ENTEN: Yes, I think one of the key things, there was actually a FOX News poll that was put out this week. And essentially it asks do you want basically to build on Obama's legacy, or do you want a new approach? And what we saw was African-Americans were far more likely to say they wanted to build on Obama's legacy, and that same FOX News poll found that African-American voters were most likely to support Joe Biden. So I think there's a real connection between Joe Biden and the African-American community in part because he served as the vice president to the first African-American president. It's not all of it, but it certainly explains a lot of it.
PAUL: All right, this is kind of random.
ENTEN: I love random. I'm a random guy.
PAUL: But I understand that you made a full screen, what we call these things, you'll see on our screen in a moment, that has to do with why you hate school.
ENTEN: I hated school. School was the worst. And I know school is started down by you folks in the Atlanta public school started this Monday, past Monday. In New York City it doesn't start until next month. But let me just say, I love the fact that I no longer have to go to school. I hated waking up early. I hated being told what to do. I still get told what to do a little bit here.
PAUL: I was going to say, don't you still have to do both of those things?
BLACKWELL: And you wake up early.
ENTEN: But I get to wake up early and hang out with folks who I actually love, versus going to school with all those kids who made fun of me for being such a nerd.
PAUL: All your teachers are cursing you right now, Harry.
BLACKWELL: We don't make fun of you for being a nerd, Harry.
ENTEN: That's exactly right, Victor. I love both of you guys so much. Thank you for having me. Shalom, good Shabbos, you're beautiful. I hope you go see some sun later on today.
BLACKWELL: Thank you very much. Harry Enten.
PAUL: Harry, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: Some breaking news for you now, police say that the man in this surveillance video you see here, the one they say was seen in video dropping off rice cookers in New York, has been taken into custody.
PAUL: Three rice cookers initially described as suspicious devices were discovered yesterday morning in Manhattan. That of course prompted a brief scare. Police say the man was found. This is what is so perplexing, he was found unconscious at an address in the Bronx and is currently in the hospital. And we don't have a lot of expounding on that.
BLACKWELL: No, not many details beyond that. We do know this. He was taken in on a previous warrant unrelated to Friday's incident. He has not been charged. Of course, we'll continue to follow that.
PAUL: So the New York City medical examiner's office says Jeffrey Epstein died of suicide by hanging. This a week, of course, after he was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. He was awaiting trial on charges that he operated a sex trafficking ring and paid girls as young as 14 for sex. Now, he had pleaded not guilty.
BLACKWELL: Epstein's lawyers say they are not satisfied with the medical examiner's conclusion. They plan to independently investigate the circumstances surrounding his death.
PAUL: So North Korea's been conducting new missile tests. President Trump doesn't seem particularly concerned about it. We're talking to Congressman Ted Yoho about that and so much more.
[10:10:03] BLACKWELL: Meantime, the staggering number of falsehoods, misleading statements, and some of them just outright lies from President Trump since he's been in office. We've got the latest count.
PAUL: And we have some new video to show you, former NASCAR driver and broadcaster Dale Earnhardt Jr. taking the weekend off after surviving the plane crash you're looking at there. You're also not only going to see some more of this new video but hear from witness who saw him and his wife and his daughter running to escape that.
BLACKWELL: U.S. officials have classified images that shows Iran is getting ready to launch a rocket in the next few days. Iran insists that the launch will be peaceful and put a satellite into orbit. However, it will use the same technology needed for an intercontinental ballistic missile.
PAUL: The type that could someday strike the U.S. for context. Missile launches aren't banned under the 2015 nuclear deal that Tehran signed with the U.S.
BLACKWELL: North Korea has now fired off six missile tests in the last month, rejected further peace talks with Seoul, but they have received little criticism, very little from the Trump administration. The president has dismissed Pyongyang's missile tests as very standard, very much under control.
Joining me now, Republican Congressman from Florida Ted Yoho.
Congressman, welcome back to the show.
REP. TED YOHO, (R-FL): Hi, Victor. Thanks for having me on.
[10:15:00] BLACKWELL: Certainly. Always good to have you on. Let's start here, the president has dismissed these, saying they're short range, can't reach the U.S., but of course they are within reach of American servicemen who are in the region, and Americans who are nearby. Are you as forgiving as the president is for the latest actions from Kim Jong-un?
YOHO: I would like to see the world community come together, especially the 12 nations that voted unanimously to put sanctions on North Korea. This is a violation of those U.N. sanctions. As far as the president, I don't know what his strategy is. I don't know what he knows that I don't know. We know that our servicemen, we've got about 28,000 servicemen and women over there. This is something they have been in harm's way. I feel that Kim Jong-un is just working to get attention, but he needs to tread very softly and very cautiously. And these are not things that I would recommend that he does because they are very provocative. And this is why we got into that situation in the first place. What Kim Jong-un has to realize is that --
BLACKWELL: But you're going a step further than -- you're going a step further than President Trump has in suggesting that he should stop those. This president has not said anything suggesting that these are counterproductive to getting to a denuclearization deal. And I always like to have you on because you're the ranking Republican on Asia-Pacific and nonproliferation in the House on that subcommittee, so you have a different perspective. Why isn't the president going as far as you are right now? He's meeting with him face-to-face, taking a step over the wall into North Korea. Can he not turn to this friend who writes him letters and say stop it?
YOHO: Well, for exactly those reasons. He's got inside information I don't have, so I don't know what his strategy. Like I said in the beginning, this may be a strategy that he says will let him do this, but we know what's coming underneath of this. And so I'm going to defer to the president on that.
But I think for Kim Jong-un to be doing this, I think it's a very dangerous thing. And again, keep in mind, there were 12 nations that voted unanimously to put sanctions on North Korea. Russia and China have backed off. Other nations have backed off. And this is something we need to come together -- it shouldn't be just the United States. It should be that coalition of those 12 nations forcing these sanctions to bring Kim Jong-un to the negotiating table.
BLACKWELL: So let's put up on the screen those tweets that were up a moment ago. And this is from September of 2018. The president tweeted, "Kim Jong-un has agreed to allow nuclear inspections subject to final negotiations and permanently dismantle a test site and launch pad in the presence of international experts. In the meantime, there will be no rocket or nuclear tests. Hero remains continue to be returned home to the United States." So there have been no inspections, no international experts watched the dismantlement of a launch pad or test site. Rocket testing is back. And there's been no remains repatriate since that tweet. How can the president continue to call his North Korea policy successful?
YOHO: Well, I think when you have three meetings between Kim Jong-un and President Trump, that's never happened before in history. And what you have to understand, and I'm sure you already know this, is when you start negotiating, especially in an Asian culture, it's all based on people you know, people that you have a relationship with instead of -- Americans are so used to, here's the deal. Sign the line, and we part ways. This is built on relationships. And this president has met more than any other president in the history of the world.
And so I'm going to give him credit for that. I think that's a very bold statement or action by our president. And, again, he's got inside information, and he may be working something behind the scenes that nobody knows about. And so I'm going to give him the leeway. But again, I think we need to put the pressure on the other communities in the world to put pressure on North Korea.
BLACKWELL: Understood, but we're certainly not seeing the fruit of it. And when the president tweeted a year ago he has agreed to this, we haven't seen that agreement come to fruition. Let me move on to China here --
YOHO: I agree.
BLACKWELL: I apologize for the delay. We always have this back and forth when you're there in Gainesville and I'm here in Atlanta. China says it will retaliate in a couple of weeks for the new tariffs that have been announced by the president. This is what President Trump said just a few days ago right after that report about what China's planning. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're taking in massive amounts of money, billions and billions of dollars, Steve, as you know, and I think the longer it goes the stronger we get.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: The longer a trade war goes the stronger the U.S. gets. Do you agree with that, that it strengthens U.S. businesses, that the country got stronger the longer a trade war drags on?
YOHO: I agree that the U.S. gets stronger. Victor, this goes beyond a trade war. There's a great book written by Michael Pillsbury called "The Hundred-Year Marathon" that lays out specifically and strategically what China is doing. This is an adjustment that has to be made for American sovereignty. China is marching around the world, they have a plan to take over the world. So this is beyond corn and soybeans. This is about what China is doing and standing up against them.
[10:20:05] And I'm glad this president has done this, because this has been a dereliction of duty over the last 30 to 40 years. And if we don't do it now, we won't be able to do it in the future.
BLACKWELL: Congressman, explain your change here, because last year you joined more than 100 Republicans in signing a letter sent to the president in which you called tariffs, quote, "taxes that make U.S. businesses less competitive and U.S. consumers poorer." So if tariffs make businesses less competitive and consumers poorer, how does this help the United States?
YOHO: Well, because you see where China's going, and if we don't do this, like I said, China is growing, they're building five aircraft carriers, brand new ones. They're going to be state of the art. They've got both sides of the Panama Canal. They're taking strategic ports around the world.
BLACKWELL: So to be clear, you now support tariffs?
YOHO: And if we don't change the economy in China, they're going to continue to do this. I'm sorry?
BLACKWELL: You now support tariffs, because in April of last year you said --
YOHO: In this situation, yes, I do.
BLACKWELL: These were tariffs that were placed by this president when you signed this letter. So what has changed? You called them then taxes that make U.S. businesses less competitive and U.S. consumers poorer, but now in August of 2019 you support them. What changed?
YOHO: What's changed is the action of China. They were working with us to put pressure on North Korea. They've gone away from that. They steered away from that. They're destabilizing, helping destabilize Venezuela. They're help destabilizing so many regions around the world. If you look at the Asia-Pacific theater, they have militarized that, and they said they weren't going to do that. So that's changed. And then the aggression that they're doing around the world, whether it's in Nepal or India and Pakistan region, they are moving, and it's not for the benefit of us or a safer world.
BLACKWELL: Congressman, I've got to step in here because I had a young man on, Marcel McClinton, earlier this morning, and he is one of the organizers of one of the rallies. He's involved in the rallies, recess rallies today calling for gun safety measures. He was in 2016 teaching Sunday school when a shooter started shooting. A friend was shot through both legs. He survived. And I asked him what he would want to say to you. I just want to play this. I won't interfere. I'll play it, and then I want you to respond.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARCEL MCCLINTON, RUNNING FOR HOUSTON CITY COUNCIL: Understand that blood is on your hands. People in America are dying because of your inaction and because of your ties to whatever gun lobby or special interest group is holding you hostage and preventing you and holding you back from putting forth and signing onto legislation that is literally proven to save lives.
Background checks are not controversial. The NRA has made this into something that it's not. This is the most widely supported pieces of legislation that we've seen in our country introduced. They have passed in the House with overwhelming bipartisan support. Senator McConnell is holding them up in the Senate. And the more and more that we sit back and don't act and sign our names onto legislation that is going it save lives, that Americans fully support, more Americans are going to die, and you will go to sleep at night knowing that blood is on your hands from shootings at schools, churches, Walmarts, shopping malls, street corners, and households. This is not the time to sit back and say I need a donation from the NRA to win reelection.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: You voted against HR-8, the expanded background check bill. What's your response to Marcel?
YOHO: Number one, I sympathize with him for the suffering he went through and saw and he'll have that for the rest of his life. But I think he's off base there. The NRA doesn't control my vote or probably the majority of the members in the Republican House. We support the Second Amendment, and I will stand firm with the Second Amendment.
The one thing he didn't talk about, the gentleman in that tape, it's a mental health situation, and this is something we put tremendous amount of money in mental health to study it, to treat it, studies through the CDC, and this is something that we have done.
I will support commonsense reforms that make Americans safer, but I'm going to stand staunchly to provide and protect the Second Amendment, because that's a defining difference between our country and any other country in the world. It's a birthright of law-abiding American citizens. And why people want to take away the Second Amendment to put hands -- more guns into the hands of criminals, I don't understand that. It's a mental health issue that we have to come together and address as a nation.
There has been a change in the last 20 to 30 years, and if you look at these shooters, they're young white males for the most part that are doing these kind of shots, or these kind of tragedies, and this is something we need to look at as all Americans, not just Republicans, not Democrats, but come together as Americans and solve this problem so that we get away from this.
[10:25:01] BLACKWELL: Congressman Ted Yoho, I promised Marcel that I would pass his message on, give you an opportunity to respond to him. Thanks so much for being with us, as always.
YOHO: You bet you. Take care.
PAUL: So can you recession proof your finances for retirement? I know the stock market probably has your head spinning. It's been one heck of a ride this week. "Washington Post" columnist Michelle Singletary has some really good advice for us, and she is up next. Stay close.
PAUL: So do you have whiplash yet?
BLACKWELL: Ought to.
PAUL: Yes, I know, after this week on Wall Street. So the Dow drops 400 points Monday, rebounds after the president agreed to delay some Chinese tariffs Tuesday. Then Wednesday brought Wall Street's worst day of the year, 800 points down, which is more than three percent.
BLACKWELL: Yes, so after that volatile trading day on Thursday, the Dow ended in positive territory, and then it kept climbing Friday eventually closing up 307 points. Still, it ended the week down 1.5 percent.
PAUL: So I know you might be sitting here thinking, should I be preparing for a recession? And if so, how do I prepare for that? Michelle Singletary writes a personal finance column for "The Washington Post." So we had to call her in and ask, was this week a one-off, Michelle, or is there something we really should be strategizing right now?
[10:30:00] MICHELLE SINGLETARY, PERSONAL FINANCE COLUMNIST, "WASHINGTON POST": You just can't be looking at the daily gyrations of the market. If you're in it for the long haul, you just got to close your eyes, just tune it out. Go spend some time with your family, learn how to cook --
PAUL: Forget about it, is that it?
SINGLETARY: You've got to forget about it if you have a long horizon.
PAUL: What if you don't?
SINGLETARY: Even if you are close to retirement and retired, look, the way we run things now, you're going to live probably a long time, 20 or 30 years past retirement. You're going to need growth during that time period. If you run scared and pull all your money out and put it in cash or bonds, you risk losing your money to inflation. And even though inflation has been low, you still want it to have some growth so you can buy the things that you need in the future.
PAUL: OK, so if there are people looking at this going I've got to move some stocks out. I got to get some bonds. Is there a downside to that?
SINGLETARY: Right now you're going to like lock in your losses, that's what they say. We're down, so you're going to, if you move it now whatever losses you have you're going to actually realize those losses.
Listen, I get it. I didn't come from money. I understand a lot of people are thinking this is my hard-earned money. What is this woman talking about? She is not going to be buying me my groceries.
SINGLETARY: But here's the thing. If you have a good diversified portfolio that you've looked at a plan, you know what you're going to need, then you need to ignore what's happening in the stock market on a daily basis.
PAUL: OK, I have 30 seconds left and I have to get to this because this is something victor and I said this morning.
PAUL: What if we just cash it out?
BLACKWELL: I want to yell bank.
SINGLETARY: Cash it out? Are you two insane?
PAUL: There are people having this conversation, though, they're saying --
SINGLETARY: OK, I get it. Cash it out, Christi and Victor, and tell me where you live because I have some people that while you're on air come get that money.
BLACKWELL: You know what I mean, you want to save the growth you have.
PAUL: You don't want to see that fall apart.
SINGLETARY: Listen, I know we have a short time, back when we had that great recession and people panicked and moved out, and they're like I'm done, I'm done. But if you had stayed you more than made up for what happened afterwards. My portfolio was down, my husband and I, about 30 percent at the last recession, and I freaked out. But my husband, who's like, girl, don't you write for a living like about this stuff? And we kept it in, and now our portfolio retirements are back more than enough. So just -- be patient, and just have a diversified portfolio. And if you're going to cash it out, send me an e-mail where you live.
BLACKWELL: I won't do that. I won't do that.
PAUL: Right. Michelle, thank you, we love having you here.
SINGLETARY: You're welcome.
PAUL: We'll be right back.
BLACKWELL: President Trump appears to be putting some space between himself about his comments previously about background checks, and now right after the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, the president had strong support for tightening background checks. He avoided talking about specific measures, but called for common sense, sensible, important, meaningful background checks. But now it appears he's avoiding the phrase altogether. Instead of shifting now, he's going to mental health. So what does this mean for the possibility of gun reform nationally?
Joining me now Brian Robinson, Republican strategist, president of Robinson Republic P.R., and Tharon Johnson, former regional director for President Obama's 2012 campaign, and president of Paramount Consulting Group. Welcome back.
THARON JOHNSON, FORMER SOUTHERN REGIONAL DIRECTOR, OBAMA 2012: Good to be here.
BLACKWELL: Brian, let me start with you. What does this mean? He went from 18 references of background checks to going to New Hampshire and saying it's all mental illness?
BRIAN ROBINSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: We've seen this pattern before after a mass shooting, he comes out and seems open to having some sort of reform on gun control, and then he starts talking to some Republicans in Congress, starts talking to some of his supporters, starts talking to some folks at the NRA and begins to back off a little bit. The fact of the matter is some of the stuff that he is mentions probably polls plus 50 percent in the country at large.
BLACKWELL: Plus 90 percent for some of it. ROBINSON: But not in the majority of Republican primaries, which the
people in Congress, his base in Congress is going to be most attuned to. Republican voters still by and large do not want to see this. And I think --
BLACKWELL: The polls prove that's not true. If you look at the latest Quinnipiac poll that came out after parkland, there was also one that came after the Congressional baseball shooting, 90-plus percent, black, white, all age groups, all political affiliations, gun owners, non-gun owners, all were north of 90 percent. Some of them were within the margin offer error of everybody.
ROBINSON: Here's where I disagree with your premise on that, Victor, is because, you do see those spikes sometimes after those shootings, and then we begin to quickly normalize and people go back to their corners after a period of time. Here's the thing, the people who vote on gun rights, they are highly mobilized, they are highly vocal. They are very involved in any GOP primary. And they are -- they vote on that issue. And so for Republican legislators particularly sticking with the Second Amendment is the safest political route, and avoiding the slippery slope of gun control.
BLACKWELL: So let me put this to you, Republicans, and Brian's right, plenty of them are single issue voters, and that single issue is the Second Amendment. Are there enough single-issue Democrats who are hoping for an end to gun violence to balance this to see if there can be some actual legislative change?
THARON JOHNSON, FORMER SOUTHERN REGIONAL DIRECTOR, OBAMA 2012: I think what we have to do, Victor, is separate the partisanship. Brian is right, the NRA is a strong force that controls not only the votes but a lot of the money that funds these campaigns of the GOP. But just news flash, a lot of these Republicans and also the president, the NRA is not going to be on the ballot in 2020, a lot of these members of Congress who are not speaking up about bringing true gun reform to this country.
But the other thing is this, this pivot to mental illness is something that, yes, I'm happy to see President Trump doing. But let's not forget, Victor, this is the same President Trump, as soon as he came into the White House, he rolled back some of the Obama era policies that were in place that made it harder for people with mental illness to actually get access to guns. And so now, two years later, he's now pivoting to mental illness.
But there's another thing, too, I think we've got to really say. It took the shooter in Dayton only 30 seconds to kill nine people.
[10:40:04] Now, while mental illness is a part of the gun reform, gun control issue that we've got to have conversation about in this country, but it's also about making sure we don't give access to guns to people like this gentleman who I believe was out to basically inflict hate.
The other thing I want to say is this.
BLACKWELL: Quickly because we've got to go to break.
JOHNSON: The other thing is this. The thing about this is also, the Democrats need to start talking about true gun ownership responsibility for the people who actually own these guns. You can talk about that and not take away someone's Second Amendment.
BLACKWELL: Tharon, Brian, stay with us, I'm going to ask you to come back. We've got a lot of other things to talk about, North Korea, the missile launches, and a proposal from the White House to cut foreign aid. Quick break, we'll be right back.
BLACKWELL: Brian Robinson, Tharon Johnson back. Brian, let me start with you, and I want to talk about North Korea. There have been six missile tests from North Korea in the last month. No repatriation of the remains of South Korea, of the Korean War dead in almost a year. The president calls his North Korea policy a success. How?
ROBINSON: They're still talking to us to some degree. When he tweets and says this isn't a big deal, I don't think any -- I don't think he believes that. I don't think the people in his administration believe that. If he does believe it, I think it's the minority opinion within his administration.
[10:45:06] Obviously, it is a big deal. Look at how he's carefully wording it, that it's not outside of our current agreements.
BLACKWELL: But it's outside of U.N. sanctions.
ROBINSON: It's outside of their current agreement with the U.S., that is what he is very specifically saying. Look, this is a big deal, but let's not forget two years ago we all went nuts when he said fire and fury, threatening a nuclear holocaust. This is better than that.
And let's maybe give him a little bit of credit. He has put a lot of time into this issue, a lot of time into developing this relationship. I think what he is doing is looking long-term, which I would say is not always his strong point, but he's looking long-term in trying to find a deal that can last. And he's trying to be polite, he's trying to be diplomatic. Maybe I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt, but I think it's a possibility.
BLACKWELL: What about that? The Obama administration didn't have much success with Kim Jong-un, so the Democrats were critical. Are you in a place to be critical?
JOHNSON: Yes, because I think that while he did -- the president did go over and foster a relationship with Kim Jong-un, but he basically, his diplomatic approach has failed because at the end of the day, he's had this ongoing communication and we haven't seen any progress.
But also, at a time where you just laid it out, Victor, we saw that they're basically using some of these missile testing exercises in South Korea. And so while we are here in this country, we know that they're testing missiles day in, day in, day in. So I think that the key is that the president needs to understand that this has just been a failed diplomatic process on his part.
BLACKWELL: The White House is considering a $4 billion recession package to cut funding to the United Nations, to the northern triangle, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, where so many migrants are coming from. Two Republicans, Lindsey Graham, Hal Rogers, sent a letter to the president saying that this would undermine significant national security and antiterrorism efforts, complicate the ability of the administration and Congress to work constructively on future appropriations deals. How big of a deal is this cutback of finances potentially?
JOHNSON: This is a human deal, and listen, to Republicans and Democrats, but especially Republicans are to be commended to stand up to this president. But what we have here is that a president basically thinks that the White House can just do whatever it wants. He's running it like it's a business. But what the president is failing to realize is you have to have cooperation and participation from Congress. And so you have these members of Congress that are saying look, this foreign aid is something we shouldn't cut. Let's look elsewhere where we can make those cuts, but don't cut this foreign aid.
BLACKWELL: Let me come to you on -- we haven't done this in a while, but "The Washington Post" just released its latest count of the president's false and misleading claims, 12,019. He crossed 10,000 on April 26th, and has been averaging 20 bunked claims a day. We have been using this version of a kid's game, how many gumballs in the jar. There's one gumball on this shelf for every one of the 12,019 false and misleading claims. We've now filled 22 jars. Brian, how does the Republican Party stand behind a president who's made 12,019 false and misleading claims?
ROBINSON: I think the Republican Party feels very comfortable in going -- this is coming from an outlet that the president and many of his voters see as the enemy. And they've said that. And look --
BLACKWELL: Truth is truth, whether "The Washington Post" reports it, or whether CNN reports it, there are things that are true or not.
ROBINSON: That's easy for you to say.
BLACKWELL: Yes, it's very easy for me to say that China's not paying the tariffs. It's very easy to say that he knew about the payments to Stormy Daniels.
ROBINSON: You all have not been Republican communicators in this country. And let me tell you, the incredulousness that we take from the media is not applied to Democrats, and why is this? Because these fact checkers are usually liberals themselves, and they see the world --
BLACKWELL: Facts don't have a political angle.
ROBINSON: A lot of this isn't facts, Victor. A lot of this is perspective, and they really read into it.
JOHNSON: Wow. I love the gumball image.
ROBINSON: Even --
BLACKWELL: It is either true or it is not, and 12,019 of those are false and misleading.
ROBINSON: I disagree with that. I disagree that it's true or it's not. A lot of it is perspective.
BLACKWELL: You can disagree, 12,019 --
ROBINSON: Liberals see the world differently than conservatives. They see the world differently, and that shapes how they see things.
BLACKWELL: I can't believe you are arguing this.
BLACKWELL: Brian Robinson, Tharon Johnson.
ROBINSON: I've lived it. I've lived it.
BLACKWELL: Christi, I've got to send it back you.
PAUL: All righty, thank you, gentlemen.
We have some new video to show you of that incredible escape for NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family after their plane crashed in Tennessee. Back in a moment.
PAUL: So I want to begin with new video taken moments after a private plane carrying NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. crashed in Tennessee.
BLACKWELL: Take a look at the video. You see Dale Jr., his wife, it's all on the right of your screen. Their one-year-old daughter escaped this burning plane. Now they're followed quickly by the plane's pilots, the family dog. The NTSB says the plane slid off a runway Thursday afternoon and made a really hard landing.
PAUL: It bounced at least twice we know before the right rear landing gear collapsed, and then you can see what happened. The flames and the smoke. Listen to the 911 calls from the people who are watching.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just crashed right across the street, right in the highway. There's firer everywhere. There is somebody getting out. Now they're trying to get out now. There's a baby, one, two, three, four, five. Five people and a dog.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Dave Faherty from CNN affiliate WSOC has more.
DAVE FAHERTY, WSOC: You can see black smoke pouring out of the back of the plane and a man running towards the wreckage. Moments later flames shoot off from one of the wings just seconds before the door to the plane pops open. Scrambling to get out are Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his wife Amy and two pilots. Their first concern is Dale's one-year- old daughter. She was handed to the first person off the burning plane who rushed her to safety. The video shows one person falling to the ground, and then the family's dog running from the wreckage. These two women called 911 from their office nearby, watching in horror as flames spread across the plane.
LACY PASQUALE, WITNESSES PLANE CRASH: I just couldn't believe it was happening, especially right here in front of our office. And then when we saw them escape and them hand a child out both of our hearts just sank.
BETH BARE, WITNESSES PLANE CRASH: It was really scary. There wasn't much time for them to get out, and it really is a miracle that they got out before the flames overtook the plane.
FAHERTY: Both women say it was just 30 seconds to a minute later before a second explosion caused flames to engulf much of the plane.
[10:55:01] We could see NTSB investigators around the plane for much of the day, feet away, skid marks in the grass from the Cessna Citation business jet at the end of the runway before it went through a fence and ended on the four-lane highway. For much of the day race fans stopped by to see the wreckage including Bobby Loveless and his son, whose middle name is Dale after Junior's father.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you want to say to dale and his family tonight?
DUSTIN DALE PARLIER, RACING FAN: That you're in our prayers and just be blessed. Make a quick recovery.
BLACKWELL: That was Dave Faherty reporting. Now the NTSB, they've interviewed the pilots. They've also recovered the plane's flight data recorder to start to figure out why this happened.
PAUL: And of course, we'll pass that along to you as soon as we get it.
I do want to say thank you so much for waking up and tuning us in. We always appreciate knowing that you're out there, and we always love to hear from you, too, so tweet us @Christi_Paul and @VictorBlackwell. We hope you make some good memories today.
BLACKWELL: Yes, on Twitter and Instagram.
PAUL: That's right. Don't forget Instagram, don't forget Instagram. BLACKWELL: Many places, many places.
BLACKWELL: Much more ahead in the next hour of CNN Newsroom. You can hear Fredricka Whitfield is up next.